Explore all of our how-to guides and advice articles about indoor cycling
GCN's ultimate guide to indoor cycling
Everything you need to know about indoor cycling, including smart trainer workouts, the best fitness apps, equipment and indoor bike set-up for cyclists
Online Production Editor
It’s that time of the year again when many cyclists dust off their turbo trainers ready for a winter of indoor cycling.
For those unfamiliar, turbo training is a great way to escape the inclement weather throughout autumn and winter. It used to have a deserved reputation for being painfully boring. You had a choice between staring at a wall or watching your knees whir around. Sure, you could watch TV or have music on in the background, but that’s not particularly immersive or interactive.
Things have drastically changed in recent years and training has never been easier thanks to a wide range of apps that feature dedicated plans, workouts, and everyone’s favourite, the dreaded FTP test.
It’s not all about ‘no pain, no gain’ and for those who prefer a more social and interactive experience, apps like Zwift also allows users to explore virtual worlds, go on group rides and even race - you can do everything type of riding possible, all from your living room on a turbo trainer or exercise bike.
Alongside these apps, there are now countless turbo and smart trainers available and the key to maximising your indoor cycling experience is finding the right set-up for your needs.
From being a very rudimentary training tool, indoor cycling has become pretty complicated, and there’s plenty to think about when getting started. But don’t worry!
We’ve covered everything you need to know about turbo training to simplify your indoor cycling experience. From turbo trainer set-up and the best indoor cycling apps to workout advice, here’s all the information you need to make the most of indoor cycling this autumn and winter.
Indoor cycling beginner’s guides
When getting started, indoor cycling can be overwhelming. There’s so much tech and a bewildering number of fitness apps for cyclists. Not to mention all of the essential turbo training accessories you need, like tablet stands, a turbo trainer mat and fans.
Our advice articles for beginners will guide you through this minefield, helping you to jump on your exercise bike, direct-drive trainer or bike rollers with minimum fuss and maximum gain.
- How to get started with indoor cycling training
- Essential turbo training equipment: Everything you need to start training indoors
- Indoor cycling vs night riding: Which is better for winter training?
- Pro indoor training tips from Zwift Academy winner Alex Bogna
Turbo and smart trainer set-up, equipment and maintenance
Maximise your workouts with the best indoor cycling set-up. From smart turbo trainers to exercise bikes, our guides will help you to find the right indoor set-up for your needs.
- Turbo trainer vs exercise bike: Which is better for indoor cycling?
- Budget vs premium indoor training set-up: How much do you need to spend?
- Wheel-on, direct-drive or rollers? How to choose the right turbo trainer for you
- Do you really need a fan for indoor cycling?
- How to protect your bike while turbo training
- The ultimate pain cave: How to set up your training space for the best indoor cycling experience
- How to swap a freehub and cassette on a turbo trainer
Best indoor cycling and fitness apps for cyclists: Zwift and Wahoo
From Zwift to Wahoo SYSTM, there are now lots of dedicated indoor cycling apps available. If you need help choosing the right one, check out our guides below.
- Zwift training challenge: How fit can you get using a turbo trainer?
- How to use Zwift and a smart trainer to lose weight
- A beginner’s guide to Zwift
- 10 mistakes to avoid on Zwift
- What can you do on Zwift in one hour? Train, race, Watopia, FTP test and more
- Getting started with Zwift indoor training
- Zwift routes & worlds - a complete guide
- How realistic is Zwift and can it really help you prepare for reality?
- Which Wahoo smart trainer is best for you?
- Guide to Wahoo SYSTM: Fitness tracking and workouts for your smart trainer
- Wahoo releases two new indoor trainers: Kickr Move and Kickr Bike Shift
FTP tests and training advice for cyclists
Just because you’re riding indoors, it doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice the quality of your workouts. In fact, turbo training can be the most efficient way to build up fitness ahead of the summer.
Like any form of training, the key to success is focus, structure and, unfortunately, FTP tests. Check out our training guides for more advice.
- Best turbo training workouts for time-crunched cyclists
- Polarised training: How to build cycling endurance without the time penalty
- How to make your own training plan
- Mastering nutrition and recovery: what should you eat while following an indoor cycling plan?
- How to incorporate strength training into an indoor cycling plan
- Getting the most out of your smart trainer with training zones
- Should we all be doing ramp FTP tests?
- 20-minute, one hour or ramp test: Which FTP test is best?
- How to do an FTP test to measure your cycling fitness
Cycling home workout videos
Need some indoor cycling workout inspiration? Here at GCN, we have an extensive library of workouts. They’re all time-friendly and easy to follow, so all you have to do is hop on your bike and ride along. You can explore all of our workouts on the GCN website, or check out a selection of our favourite workouts below.
- 20-minute HIIT indoor cycling workout with Manon Lloyd
- Sweet spot endurance training: 30-minute indoor cycling workout
- The full pyramid: 30 minute HIIT indoor cycling workout from GCN
- Over/under threshold intervals: 35-minute HIIT indoor cycling workout
- Quick but brutal 15 minute HIIT indoor cycling workout
- Take it easy! 25 minute indoor cycling workout
- 20-minute spin workout: Short, sharp efforts with Conor Dunne
- How to do a quick 17-minute indoor cycling HIIT workout
- Stronger legs without the gym: How to build strength on the bike
- Beginner indoor training session: 20-minute sweet spot indoor cycling workout
Latest turbo and smart trainer news and articles from GCN
From the price of a smart trainer to app subscription costs, follow all of the latest indoor cycling news below:
- Turbo trainers pro cyclists use
- Pedal power: The exercise bike that can charge your phone and run your fridge
- Indoor Training app Rouvy offers huge savings with new subscription model
- Zwift makes indoor training more accessible with new Hub One turbo trainer
- Wahoo set to offer Zwift subscriptions with RGT set to close
- Rouvy announces new routes and features ready for turbo training season
- Zwift Hub increases in price in line with new features and Watopia expansion
- Wahoo drops price of Kickr Core indoor trainer
- Zwift to be replaced by MyWhoosh for cycling E-sports World Championships
- Zwift Games aims to be the 'biggest cycling esports competition to date
- Zwift launches new annual subscription with cost savings over monthly membership
Want to get more from your training or need some inspiration? Explore:
- GCN’s latest bike tech features
- Fitness tips, health and cycling science
- Interviews with pro cyclists
- GCN’s presenter challenges and cycling adventures
Garmin is a technology company based in Kansas City, USA. The tech giant produces GPS products for cycling and other sports, as well as for the marine, aviation and motor industries. Garmin’s cycling range began with cycling computers and has gradually expanded to include training products such as heart rate monitors, smartwatches and other training equipment.
Online Production Editor
Tom is our Online Production Editor who creates tech content for the GCN website